Part 4: Update Four: The Shark has Pretty TeethWelcome back to Super Mario RPG; last time, we beat up a bipedal, purple crocodile, and retrieved the coin he had stolen from Mallow. So, let's head back to the Mushroom Kingdom to spend it and get this show on the road.
...Jesus Christ, we were gone for like, fifteen minutes. What the hell happened? May as well rescue the sassy Toad; I like the cut of his jib.
Shysters are the only enemies around the town. Holding 30 HP, they're far tougher than the Goombas and Spikeys that we've been stomping.
Their major notable feature is that they'll boogie down before throwing a fireball at one of our heroes. More often than not, they'll use this attack. If they don't use this, they just bounce off either Mario or Mallow's head for piddly damage.
handles them just fine. Mario can one-shot them with a good timed hit, while Mallow can barely scratch them with a physical.
: By the way, look what I found.
And with that, he hands us .
There's quite a few of the townspeople around who need saving. Since it's practically free EXP (and heroic, or whatever), I have no problem doing this.
For nearly every fight with these guys, just imagine this screen over and over again, but with different backgrounds. It's the most efficient way of taking them out, costing only 2 FP. For each Shyster we engage, we get at least 3 EXP, which may not seem like much, but for reference's sake, to get Mario from level 6 to 7, it's only 90 EXP.
Anywho, these people are all grateful for our help and many will reward us.
We could have talked to him before we went to go hunt Croco down to know he had taken his wallet, but I plum forgot this guy existed. But, since we're not dicks, let's toss it back to him.
: Thank you so much! Here, I'll give you this as a reward. Go on now, take it.
He gives us a Flower Tab for our efforts, which I always appreciate. Not only do these increase max FP, but they also restore it to full. I hoard these for their restoration properties.
This house is clear inside, as long as you don't consider senile old people a threat.
Apparently these folks have gotten used to it, so they just ignore the old man.
And Mario shows the kid just how much fun it can be to play inside.
Maybe if we rescue the shopkeeper, he'll give us a discount!
On crap I'll never buy, but still...Principle.
...Well, at least he's not a big enough coward to actually leave his shop. But he's stupid enough to use the honor system in a time of crisis. His item list is unchanged, and money is deducted as normal. There's not even an option to even attempt to rob his ass blind.
There's quite the bossy person downstairs.
But, complying isn't such a bad thing. She teaches us about the existence of hidden treasures. Most people, on their first time through, won't find her until after the window of opportunity closes on getting the box inside the castle, and even then, there's no hint that box even exists. It's kind of a dick move.
Use your awesome jumping ability to look for 'em.
This second box is a bitch to get to, since you have to wait for her to walk into the corner before you can even reach it. And she doesn't have a set pattern, either, so it can take a long time before she'll even approach the corner. Plus, she has to stand still long enough so you can hit it twice to actually open the damn box.
I was always under the impression this person was impressed with the Shysters bouncing. Personally, I'm impressed with how conductive they are.
Did I accidentally step on a piece of charred Shyster?
No, this lady's just kind of a bitch. It's impressive that she'd pull this shit during an invasion, though. That's the kind of person I'd like to see during Ragnarok, because practical jokes would be such a morale boost during any sort of Armageddon.
Since there's no danger inside of the inn, I'll just skip right over to this house. That Shyster is actually bouncing high enough to ricochet off the house. He just repeats this over and over.
Now that's dedication to true love. Or else Raini has one hell of an inheritance coming.
After a few more fights, Mario gains another level. I boost his magic attack a bit more, then move on.
: Thanks, Mario! But what about my son upstairs?
Father of the year, folks. Jecht ain't got shit on this guy! To his credit, though, he does rush straight upstairs.
Taking care of that little mess, Father Numbnuts here suddenly finds his balls again.
: Here's a little token of my appreciation!
He tosses us another Flower Tab, so he's slightly redeemed in my eyes.
And with everything noteworthy done outside of the castle, let's head inside.
And it's mostly Toads who need rescuing around here. I like them, so I'm okay with this, too.
And he runs off to the next room. Little bastard didn't even give us a reward!
There's two Shysters blocking the doorway here. They die a lightning-fueled death.
: Saved by Mario again! How could I ever thank you enough?!
You get to see Toad do his best Solid Snake if you kill the one on the left first. It amused me so much, I couldn't help but include it.
Toad is being menaced by another pair of Shysters before he can actually get into the Princess' room.
This won't be the last time we're told this. Toad, I accept cash, check, or Visa prepaid debit cards.
: Thanks to Mario, of course! Saved by Mario again, how could I ever thank you enough?
OH NO! The Chancellor's still in the throne room!
: What!? That's terrible! But, with Mario around...we're...safe, right?
This is actually a question to answer. Considering Mallow is still acting as a fluffy, bouncy Electro, the answer is a resounding .
: There we go, now! Hey wait...Hang on for a sec, okay? Please take this. The Princess would be happy to know you have something of hers.
And we get another Flower Tab.
Normally, I'd call this lady a giant bitch, but she heals us to full HP/FP, so she's just a regular bitch.
Mallow gains himself a level, and nets +2 magic attack as a bonus. It's so sexy when your wizard picks up even more magical might.
There was a pair of Shysters here, but they're gone now.
: Well, so much for him.
Wow, a single gold coin! I think I have over 150 of the things lying around.
He gives us a Wake Up Pin, which prevents sleep and mute. I give it to Mallow, as it also boosts his defense and magic defense by 3.
The treasures here haven't changed a bit. And since Mario was fairly close to his next level, I decided to do a bit of off-camera grinding. And then Mallow was close to his, so I just ground him up, too.
Mario learned Super Jump, which is one of the keys to shattering this game's difficulty wide open. It costs 7 FP, which with my max of 21, is a hell of a lot. However, do 30 in a row and talk to the right character, you'll receive an Attack Scarf, which boosts a character's attack through the roof. Do 100 in a row, and you get the Super Suit, which, well, makes a character super.
I did 30 off-camera (and with save states, because I have trouble doing anymore than a dozen), and I'll be sure to do 100 later. I'll be using the Attack Scarf when I get it, but I'll leave using the Super Suit up to you guys, since it activates Easy Mode, no matter who equips it.
Off my tangent here, there's two more Shysters guarding the throne room. These are two of the final Shysters we'll ever see, which I'm fine with. After killing so many, I'm tired of seeing Super Jumps and Thunderbolts.
Inside the throne room here, the six Toad guards have been replaced by Shysters.
: Well, gang, looks like we have ourselves a new home! We can bounce around all day long! And there's no one here who can stand in our way! Yahoo! Let's bounce the night away!
For extra fun, replace every instance of "bounce" in this update with the word "fuck".
: Listen up, gang! These guys are gonna put a stop to OUR party! Are we happy about this?!
: You picked the WRONG people not to bounce with, bub! How 'bout a fat lip to go with that ugly mustache?!
After that crack about the 'stache, shit just got real.
Jump is only slightly effective against Mack. This is about 40 more points of damage than Mario's regular attack. I think I know what I'm doing this entire fight.
Mack is actually weak to Thunder, which explains its good damage here. That, and Mallow is bitchin' at magically attacking things.
At first, I thought this happened every time you shocked Mack. But I couldn't get it to happen again, and I checked him out in Lazyshell, and it's a response to Thunderbolt, so I'm not sure what I did wrong.
Mallow's new skill, Psychopath, reveals a foe's remaining HP and, if timed right, their inner thoughts. Most of these are fairly meh, but bosses' are usually interesting.
Mack...Is not one of those bosses. Honestly, Mack isn't all that interesting of a fight or as a character. It's a shame, since a giant, stubby knife could have been interesting as hell.
One of Mack's other attacks is to light everything around on fire. That sounds scary as shit, but it really isn't. It did 3 damage to Mario and one to Mallow.
His last attack is to lob a fireball at somebody and light them on fire. Mallow took an entire 2 damage from this attack. Mack's a real kind of boss, both on trying to kill you and survival skills.
And the reward is pretty lackluster, too. 12 EXP is more than we've gotten before though, so I can't complain. And it was basically free, considering the amount of effort I actually had to put into beating Mack like a red-headed stepchild.
Oy, what's that there?
The pretty blue star twirls around the room for a minute...
Before landing in Mario's hands. Maybe it's like the Elder Wand and follows whoever defeats its old master. Or something.
Looks like we have just a few more of these things to collect.
Hey, how did these two survive the purge?
Yes, he is. Which just takes me back to my question: why are you two still among the living?
Wait, better question. Why isn't he killing you two right now?
Well, I suppose that's only fair.
Mario, just because I thought it was fair didn't mean that I thought you should let them do it. Mallow, get 'em!
Or we'll just go talk to the Chancellor instead. That works, too, I guess.
: Once again, Mario to the rescue! But who WERE those...
: Sir! Thank goodness you're all right!
: Mario! So it was YOU who got us through all of this! We owe much to you...! First the Princess and now THIS! It's just too much to bear!
: He knows...EVERYTHING!
Bwahahahahah! An engine of magical destruction he may be, but there is no respect for Mallow.
And Mallow just takes it all in stride.
: Well, any friend of Mario's is welcome here in Mushroom Kingdom! As I was saying, Mario, you are our only hope! Mario! Please! You MUST rescue the Princess, NOW!
Oh, Goddammit, Mallow. This is why everyone hates you.
At least he takes it all in stride.
have anything to do with the Star Piece that Mario found...? Our heroes move on towards the Kero Sewers...
And with that, let's get the hell out of here!
Oh, right, Mallow's got to spend that coin of his.
: Oh! Well DONE, lad! Okay, here's the thing I promised you...
Did we pick up Grandpa's medication? Jesus, he trusted Mallow with this, knowing full well he's a fuckup? Christ, I'm sure a green boar is going to steal this from him, since he couldn't even hold onto a coin and that fits in your pocket!
Or else Grandpa sent his grandson out for pie. Well, at least he's putting having grandchildren to good use, I s'pose.
That's the end of this episode, folks. Next time, we'll go into perhaps the only fun sewer level in any video game ever.
So, tune it to see an actual, honest-to-goodness fun sewer level!